Field research

Matéusz Kula

Matéusz opened the Roundtable with his current research on developing a perfect trap to catch silverfish, which he wants to implement in his vitrine project. The vitrine is made of a wooden box and a glass cover on top and it contains an exemplar of the book “Deutscher Wald” from Hans Ludwig Oeser (1941), a Petri dish with a culture of Trychoderma fungi (that is growing under controlled humidity conditions) and a trap installed in the glass cover and designed in a “Jugendstil” ornamental fashion, which function is to catch silverfish insects. 1-octen-3-ol metabolite produced by the fungi is a chemical compound that attracts specifically silverfish from the surrounding, which will be captured by the trap and guided to the interior of the case through some holes and pipes assembled to the glass cover. This simplified ecosystem living in the vitrine is used as a metaphor for the transformation of materials and it reflects as well on the concept of time: silverfish diet as its scientific name indicates (Lepisma saccharina) is made of sugars and starch, which are also degradable by Trychoderma, a fungi that normally grows on barks or decorticated wood and which is able to degrade cellulose as well, the material the book is made of. The work’ is influenced by some Joseph Beuys’ works, such as “7000 Eichen”, a project started in 1982 in occasion of Documenta 7 –Kassel. Matéusz also introduced us briefly to his exhibition “Sublime of the Dust” done at Krakow’s Botanical Garden (Poland), in which he focused his work on “Pazuzu” (demons of the wind in Assyrian and Babylonian mythology) and Alfred Russell Wallace.

Martina Lang

Martina’s presentation about food transformation was related to taste, food, social aspects of food production and other concerns about gastronomy and food regarded as tools to provide knowledge in an interdisciplinary work frame. She proposes a formula to depict scientific PhD. theses in terms of taste. She analyses ten varied theses from students in the frame of the current collaboration with the University of Natural Resources and Life Sciences of Vienna (Universität für Bodenkultur Wien –Boku). In the PhD theses aspects such as the core question of it, the answer to it and the context or place in which the matter of study is developed are determinant for the translation from literary content of the theses into terms of food and taste. Three results of her interpretation method are presented as an example to the roundtable: they are three different prepared foods, which specific ingredients, tastes and shapes are chosen and presented according to the transformation rules she established. As a further step for this project, she developed a five steps methodology to standardise the parameters to be considered in the transformation process.